Cheese, roquefort

Fun Facts

  1. Roquefort cheese had already been made for centuries and it has been identified with a cheese mentioned by Pliny the Elder in AD79.
  2. According to legend, Roquefort was invented by a shepherd boy who left his cheese and bread lunch in a cave in order to pursue a beautiful girl.
  3. The mould that gives Roquefort its character is Penicillium roqueforti.
  4. Roquefort mould was used to treat gangrene long before Alexander Fleming isolated penicillin.
  5. Under European law, only cheeses aged in the natural Cambalou caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon may bear the name Roquefort.
  6. The population of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon is under 700 but 4,500 work to produce the cheese
  7. It must be made of ewes’ milk delivered at least 20 days after lambing has taken place.
  8. A typical wheel of Roquefort weighs between 2.5 and 3 kilograms and is about 10cm thick.
  9. Around three million wheels are produced each year, weighing a total of about 19,000 tonnes.
  10. In 2009, the US threatened to impose a 300 per cent import duty on Roquefort in retaliation against an EU ban on hormone-treated beef.

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